'We are not all in this together', say support service staff

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Anita McCarthy is bothered by the phrase "we are all in this together".

As a family support worker with Deansrath Family Resource Centre, she sees families that are struggling, and it has been made worse by the withdrawal of services because of Covid-19 public health restrictions.

"We are not all in this together, if you have a comfortable house and a (stocked) fridge, and very little hassle in your life," she said.

"We go to some families with young children and all their supports are gone."

"The children would normally be in school, have a breakfast club, a homework club, an after-school club, and that's all gone. It's 24/7 with young children and some haven't even got a garden."

Anita's work involves meeting families who have referred to the centre for assistance. There have been 50% more referrals during the pandemic on behalf of families in need in support.

"Over the summer, we did a lot of garden visits," she said, "but since Christmas it's completely different."

While emergency home visits do happen there is not the same level of connection.

"A lot of the problems we just can't help them with at the moment. They can't turn up to the centre, you can't give them a hug, we can't be close with people," said the family support worker.

Bringing a food hamper is often a way to help and see how a family is coping.

Deansrath Family Resource Centre, in Clondalkin, helps 100 families a day. The childcare service can currently take ten children, less than half the usual number.

Covid-19 restrictions have put up "huge walls", according to outreach project worker Alison Bradley, who runs group programmes for children and young programme.

"It's a service that involves a lot of empathy, compassion and comfort," she said.

Programmes that bring adolescents and teenagers together in a "safe space" for pizza and a group chat, where they "come up with solutions" to problems, at school or at home, have stopped.

Access visits, where parents meet their children who are in foster care, have had to be reimagined because foster carers cannot risk exposure to Covid-19 if they are looking after someone vulnerable.

"If a parent gets on the phone and she is hysterical that she cannot see her children, we have to try and come up with solutions around that," explains Alison Bradley.

Видео «'We are not all in this together', say support service staff» опубликовано в категории «Новости». Продолжительность: 2 мин. 54 сек.